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University of Colorado Denver

Center for Worker Health and Environment

Our Team


The Colorado School of Public Health is an educational collaboration between the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado. Students may take classes and attend different sites for their learning and research experiences.

The Center for Worker Health and Environment is a center within the Colorado School of Public   Health, with offices located at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. Our team works with faculty, students, and community partners on numerous projects in worker health, safety, and wellness.

Read more about our MAP ERC Faculty here.


Administrative Faculty and Staff


Lee S. Newman, M.D., M.A., FCCP, FACOEM


Dr. Newman is the founding Director of the NIOSH-funded Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC). Dr. Newman is a Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health and a Professor of Epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology a​nd the Division of Pulmonary Science and Critical Care Medicine, in the School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver.

Read full bio here 





Liliana Tenney Starr, MPH

Deputy Director, Center for Worker Health & Environment

Lili received her Masters of Public Health Degree from the Colorado School of Public Health. Her research interests include workplace wellness programs, community and behavioral health. She co-founded Health Links, a program in the Center for Worker Health and Environment.  Before pursuing her MPH and working at the Mountain and Plains ERC, Lili developed a strong background in marketing, business development and social media with her work in event production, health promotion and wellness.





John Adgate, Ph. D

Associate Director & Chair of the Department of Occupation and Environmental Health

Dr. Adgate's research focuses on improving exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies – studying the factors that affect the health and illness of entire populations – by documenting the magnitude and variability of human exposure to air pollutants, pesticides, metals and allergens. Some of his research projects have included evaluating methods that might help to reduce lead poisoning in the home, outcomes of long-term exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, and a controlled trial to test an allergen reduction intervention in inner city residences..





Carol Brown, Ph.D

Program Evaluator Coordinator

Carol coordinates evaluation and assessment procedures for the School. She received a PhD in Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC) and a BA in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining CSPH, Carol conducted program evaluations for The Graduate School at USC.


Michelle Haan, MPH

Associate Program Manager

Michelle received her Master of Public Health degree from the Colorado School of Public Health with a focus on Community and Behavioral Health. As a Research Assistant at the Center, Michelle enjoys managing the Health Links program and assisting with the many projects that are run through the Center. Michelle is passionate about connecting with people throughout the community and learning how to help empower them to make choices to live safer and healthier lives.



Greg Schwitzgable, MPH, CHES 

Health Links Advising and Outreach Coordinator

Greg Schwitzgable received his B.S. and MPH degrees from Ohio State University where he focused on health promotion and health behavior. Greg has a diverse range of experiences with worksite wellness from working in various capacities in Ohio, North Carolina, and now Colorado. As the Health Links Advising and Outreach Coordinator, Greg works with businesses one-on-one to help create sustainable and effective wellness programs while building relationships with communities across the state. He has been a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) since 2011 and enjoys staying connected with the American Public Health Association and the Society for Public Health Education. Greg and his wife, Katie, live in Denver and enjoy the active and fun lifestyle of Colorado.



Sara Higgins

Finance Administrator

Sara has been with University of Colorado Denver since 1999 and has done all aspects of budget management for Dr. Newman since the MAP ERC began in 2007.  She has experience with accounting, budget management,  grants, contracts, subcontracts/pilot projects, and general office administration.




Natalie Schwatka, PhD.

Research Associate

Natalie received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health from Colorado State University, and her B.A. in Psychology from University of Portland.  Natalie’s research interests include leadership, safety climate/culture, workplace wellness programs, and the development and evaluation of leading indicators of workplace health and safety.  Natalie is passionate about working with community partners on applied research projects that ultimately result in improved academic and practical knowledge.


Jana Gurkin, MPH, CHES

Director of Outreach and Communications 

Jana grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and attended Colorado State University for a B.A. in Journalism and Communications. Following graduation, she decided to pursue her passion for health and wellness by attending the University of Texas Health Science Center for a Master's in Public Health. She has worked in worksite wellness programming and communications, as well as environmental programs in substance abuse and suicide prevention. She's very excited about being part of the Center for Worker Health and Environment and having the opportunity to work with individuals and organizations doing amazing things.




Brenda Thompson

Finance Assistant and Administrative Assistant

Brenda is a Colorado native and graduated from CU Boulder. She assists the Finance Administrator and provides administrative support to the Center, coordinating Center events and schedules.




Roxana Witter, MD, MSPH

Director OEM Residency Program​ & Associate Professor

Dr. Witter is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. She is the Program Director for the Occupational Medicine Residency Program and mentors several occupational medicine residents each year. She is co-Director of the MAP ERC Occupational Health Interdisciplinary Symposium and has previously been Director of the Occupational Toxicology MPH course.


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